Alphabet

Because the English language is an international language, there are many, many different accents. These differences can be thought of as a problem by some, but not by us.

The Expressive English Alphabet has been designed specifically to allow English speakers from anywhere in the world to write with their own local accent. It gives us the ability to really express who we are and where we come from at the same time as giving all of us the means to communicate with each other clearly and simply.

Please find the basic Expressive English Alphabet below:

Ɑ – away

Ѧ – ate

Λ – apple

A – are / hot (If you’re from the US or Canada, then you quite probably will write both of these words with an A (Are = AꞋ / Hot = HAT). If you’re not from these two countries, then you would mostly likely only write the word ‘are’ with an A.)

Ꙙ – hot (If you’re from a country other than the US or Canada, you will probably use this letter in order to write the sound in the middle of ‘hot’ (HꙘT).)

Δ – more (if followed by the letter Ꞌ) / Law (if not followed by the letter Ꞌ) (There can be a difference in pronunciation between the ‘o’ in ‘more’ and the ‘aw’ in ‘law’ for many North Americans. However, both of these sounds are written with the same letter. This is because the ‘o’ sound in ‘more’ is always followed by an ‘r’. Whereas, the ‘aw’ sound in ‘law’ is never followed by an ‘r’. So it should be clear which sound the letter is representing. For example: More = MΔꞋ / Law = LΔ.)

ϴ – boy

O – over

Ꝍ – old (For some speakers, the sound of ‘o’ in ‘old’ may be the same as the ‘o’ sound in ‘over’. If that’s the case, then you don’t need to use the letter Ꝍ. Just use the O instead.)

Ω – down

B – blue

E – he

Ǝ – here

Ԑ – red

Ӟ – there

Σ – her (In some accents, this sound can be substituted with the Ԑ, the E, the I and even the Δ. If that’s the case, then feel free to use these other letters when necessary. For example, ꞭΣꞋK (work) could become ꞭΔꞋK.)

I – bin

Î – eye (For some speakers, you may pronounce the ‘i’ in ‘price’ differently to the ‘i’ in ‘prize’. If you do this, then just use the letter Î for both sounds.)

H – hill

K – kill and loch (Some speakers may pronounce a guttural ‘kh’ sound instead of a K in some words, like ‘loch‘ in Scottish accents, or ‘back‘ in a Scouse accent. Just use the letter K for each of these sounds.)

ꓘ – go

L – like

Ɬ – we / what (Some speakers will pronounce a ‘wh’ sound instead of just a ‘w’ in some words. If you do this, then just use the letter Ɬ for both. This letter is in the shape of an L because some speakers may substitute the L for a Ɬ. For example, instead of saying ‘well’, it might sound more like ‘wow’. Well = ꞭԐL / ꞭԐꞭ / ꞭΛL / ꞭΛꞭ. If you speak like this, feel free to use the Ɬ in place of the L when needed.)

M – mat

N – no

И – sing (Some speakers may pronounce an extra ‘g’ or ‘k’ sound at the end of ‘ng’. For example, the word ‘thing’ could sound like ‘thing-g’ or ‘thing-k’. If you speak like this, you don’t need to write an extra ꓘ or K at the end – just write this ‘ng’ sound with the letter И – ŦIИ. However, if there is a word like ‘think’, with a definite, common K sound at the end, then of course you would write the K at the end – ŦIИK.)

P – power

R / (The letter R is used if the 1st letter of the word is an R. Every other time an R is pronounced, the letter is used. This rule exists because, on the one hand, many speakers will pronounce every R, but on the other hand, many speakers will not. For example, the word ‘runner’ could be written as RÛNⱭ, with the or as RÛNⱭ, without the . The is small enough to be noticeable when it’s present, but it’s not too difficult to read the word when the isn’t present. Another example of this is: worker = ꞭΣKⱭ / ꞭΣKⱭ)

S – sip

Ꞩ – she

δ – vision

Ƨ – zebra

T̊ – dog

Ŧ̊ – this (In some accents, the Ŧ̊ may instead be pronounced as a T̊. For example, the word ‘father’ could sound like ‘fader’. If that’s the case in your accent, then you can replace the Ŧ̊ with a T̊. In some accents, the Ŧ̊ can also sound like a ꟻ. For example, the word ‘father’ may sound like ‘faver’. If you speak like this, then you can use the ꟻ instead of the Ŧ̊. Father = ҒAT̊ⱭꞋ / ҒAŦ̊ⱭꞋ / ҒAꟻⱭ.)

Ԏ – jump (The letter Ԏ can swap around with T̊. Let’s take the word ‘drive’ for example. If the is pronounced as a trilled sound, like in a strong Scottish accent, the T̊ will be used – drive = T̊ꞋÎꟻ. But if the is not trilled, as is most common in English, the ‘d’ will quite probably be pronounced like a Ԏ – drive = ԎꞋÎꟻ.)

T – time / partner – T and the glottal stop. (Some speakers may not pronounce the T in some words. Instead, the glottal stop is used. For example, in the Cockney accent, the word ‘matter’ would sound more like ‘ma-er’. The stopping sound in the middle of the word is the glottal stop. Because the T and the glottal stop are usually interchangeable, both are represented by just the one letter T. In your accent, you may not even pronounce a T or a glottal stop in the word ‘matter’. You may actually pronounce a T̊ sound. If that’s the case, then you can use the T̊ instead. Matter = MΛTⱭ / MΛT̊ⱭꞋ.)

Г – chip (The letter Г can swap around with T. Let’s take the word ‘try’ for example. If the is pronounced as a trilled sound, like in a strong Scottish accent, the T will be used – try = TꞋÎ. But if the is not trilled, as is most common in English, the T will quite probably be pronounced like a Г – try = ГꞋÎ.)

A – ate

Ø – apple

Ѳ – are (BOTH) / hot (AMER if desired)

ϴ – hot (GB) / hot (AMER if desired)

Ꚛ – more (BOTH) / Law (AMER (No R))

Δ – boy

O – over

– old

Ω – down

B

E – he

Ǝ – here

Ԑ – red

Ӟ – there

Σ – her

H

I- away

İ – bin

Î – eye

ꓘ – go

K – kill and loch (kh, guttural)

L

Ɬ – we and the wh sound in what

M

N

И – sing

P

R & Ꞌ (R = 1st & Ꞌ = all other times)

S

Ꞩ – she

Ŝ – vision

Ƨ – zebra

T̊ – dog

Ŧ̊ – this

Ꞁ – jump

T – time & matter (Cockney (glottal stop))

Г – chip

Ŧ – thin(In some accents, the Ŧ may instead be pronounced as a T. For example, the word ‘think’ could sound like ‘tink’. If that’s the case in your accent, then you can replace the Ŧ with a T. The Ŧ can also sound like an Ғ. For example, the word ‘think’ may sound like ‘fink’. If you speak like this, then you can use the Ғ instead of the Ŧ. Think = ŦIИK / TIИK / ҒIИK.)

Ғ – find

ꟻ – very

U – do

Ʉ – up

Û – would (Some speakers may use the letter Û instead of the letter Ʉ. For example: Fun = ҒÛN / ҒɄN. If you speak like this, then feel free to use the Û instead of the Ʉ when needed.)

Ü – pool (Some speakers may not pronounce any difference between the letter Ü and the letter Û. If that’s the case for you, then you can choose which one you like and use it to write words like ‘wood’ and ‘pool’.)

Y

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Grammatical Differences in the Expressive English Alphabet:

There are only lower case letters with the shortened words. Other than those, we only use upper case.

Single quotation marks become single parentheses: ‘cat’ = (KΛT)

Double quotation marks become double parentheses: “cat” = ((KΛT))

Parentheses become double chevrons: (cat) = «KΛT»

Capital Letters at the start of a sentence or a name become bold print letters at the beginning of a sentence or a name. For example, instead of ‘Rachel’, it would be RѦГⱭL. Instead of: ‘The man is big’ it will be: Ŧ̊Ɑ MΛN IƧ BIꓘ.

If you want to have a look at what this alphabet looks like in context, please go to our Read page.

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